Following FC Halifax Town’s first victory of the season away at Solihull Moors, boss Billy Heath can now breathe a sigh of “relief” as Adam Morgan’s strike sent the Shaymen home with all three points.
It was certainly a game of two halves at the Automated Technology Group Stadium, with the opening 45 minutes being the favoured half for the travelling Shaymen fans.
Morgan’s opener inside the half hour mark was well received by those who had been hoping for the former Curzon Ashton man to make his first start of the campaign. The striker was never going to waste his chance after Matty Kosylo’s well worked cross, something that Heath was quick to praise.
“It was a good piece of play, we controlled it in midfield and had Kosylo out wide who pulled a great ball back for Morgan. He is a great finisher and he finished that well. He has been chomping at the bit, he’s been desperate to start and he has got his goal.
“Morgan knows he has got to keep working hard and today he got his just desserts. We had to change our shape and go more defensive because we were under pressure in the second half, so we made the change but he did very well”.
With the one goal advantage in place, the Shaymen started the second half in a cagier manner as the home side began to pile on the pressure. An early penalty save from Sam Johnson arguably sealed the visitors’ victory before an onslaught of attacks came his way.
It may not have been as exciting as the first half from a Halifax perspective, but the Town side, described as “down to the bare bones” by Heath after the game, managed to handle the pressure well, despite some significant injuries forcing changes before and throughout the game.
“We were comfortable (in the first half), it was more a case of when we will get a second goal which would have given us a bit of breathing space.
“We lost Riley again, we have lost Garner with a calf strain and then had to bring Riley in when he hasn’t done anything for nearly two weeks, but he wants to play.
“We had a lot of players injured today so we’ve had to patch the side up, and it showed a little bit in the second half but they stuck to the task and dug in for each other.
“Sometimes they had to do jobs that they didn’t want to do… but that’s what you have got to do, the players do whatever it takes to win games and we did that”.
Michael Duckworth and Scott Garner were just two of the forced changes Heath faced before the game in the Midlands, although he doesn’t expect them to be out for too long.
“Hopefully they have got a chance of coming back next week. We will have to work on them and try get them fit for Saturday”.
By the time the final whistle came, the relief of that first victory was clear to see on the faces of the players. They had handled what was another hard-fought game in the Vanarama National League, and Heath believes it is a big weight lifted from everyone’s shoulders.
“You are always looking for your first win of the season, we probably deserved it in one of the four previous games but it was nice to get it today.
“You could see what a relief it was when the players came in the changing room, it is just getting it off your back and hopefully we can relax a little bit more now.
We got a little bit tetchy at times, the pressure mounts because you are desperate for that first win, hopefully we can move on”.
You can watch the full interview with Heath along with post-match reaction from Kosylo and Morgan on Shaymen TV.
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